Elephant Seal

The remaining two species of seals likely to be encountered in the Antarctica are not strictly Antarctic species, although they overlap from the sub-Antarctic zone. The most impressive is the Southern Elephant Seal, Mirounga leonina. It is the largest of all seals, adult males reaching a length of up to 4.5m and a maximum weight of about 4 tonnes. The males are much larger than the females, and during the breeding season in September to November they maintain harems of up to 70 females.

Elephant Seals breed mostly on the sub-Antarctic islands, particularly South Georgia, Iles Kerguelen, Heard Island and Macquarie Island, but during the molting season, in December to March, they appear on land farther south. Large numbers are now to be seen in the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands. Elephant seals feed mainly on squid and fish and probably catch some of their food in deep water.


 • Southern Elephant Seals
Information on the Elephant seal including taxonomy.
 • Seals
Links to information on the Crabeater, Elephant, Antarctic Fur, Leopard and Weddell seals.